If you look to the right of this post, you’ll see a section titled “What is the Reagan Project?” If you read it you’ll see it’s a brief for Article V, and doesn’t even mention a Balanced Budget Amendment. I support Article V, without qualification. The BBA is just one of many needed reforms.
From 2013 to 2018 I worked with the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, trying to get 34 states to pass BBA Article V Resolutions. They were the only feasible Article V movement going. When I joined them they had 19 states, and we got it up to 29, but no further.
Despite our best efforts, and despite the fact that 2/3 of Democratic voters say they support a Balanced Budget Amendment, no Democratic majority in any legislature ever gave us the time of day. From 2014 to 2018 it was possible, because of Republican dominance in state legislatures, to do without Democratic support. After the 2018 election, and for the foreseeable future, any future Article V effort must be bipartisan.
Which brings us to Wolf-PAC, which seeks an Article V convention to take up campaign finance reform. They have passed their resolution in five deep blue states, but have made no real progress in any of the 30 or so states that are red or reddish. Wolf-PAC is populated mainly by people on the left side of the political spectrum, many of them Bernie Sanders supporters. They think the whole of Washington is corrupt. In fact, they’re right. If you don’t understand that, you haven’t been paying attention.
So I’ve joined Wolf-PAC, and I’ll be trying to help pass their resolution in the 2021 session of the Alaska legislature. Their prime sponsor is Democratic Rep. Geran Tarr, a member of the coalition that controls the House of Representatives. From what I know of her, she’s at the left end of the Democratic caucus, and not beloved by the Republicans, who control the Senate.
So it’s time for bipartisanship. I still have friends in the Alaska Senate. One of them, Senate Majority Leader Lyman Hoffman, I served with from 1987 to 1991. Lyman’s from Bethel, and he’ll be able to serve as long as he wants. He’s been an Alaskan legislator for 33 years, and I look forward to talking to him again. We played a lot of cribbage in the legislative lounge back in the day, and have a few old war stories to share.